3 Links I Love: Air New Zealand Becomes Less Unique, American’s Bad Baggage Rules, Airport Restaurants

This week’s featured link:
Air New Zealand to discontinue premium economy SpaceseatBusiness Traveller
This is a sad day. Air New Zealand says that its fantastic Spaceseat premium economy scores worse than the more traditional premium economy it has on its 787s. I just can’t imagine that to be true.

I was there in 2010 when Air New Zealand rolled out the Spaceseat along with the Sky Couch. I marveled over the innovation that had gone into every cabin on that airplane. But once it went into service, the Spaceseat proved to not have enough legroom. They had to remove a row. I can only assume that was the beginning of the end.

Air New Zealand can seat a lot more people with a traditional premium economy, but it loses that true uniqueness that it introduced back in 2010. It’s always sad to see something like that disappear.

Links I Love

Two for the road:
New Qantas, American Airlines baggage rules cause transit traumaAustralian Business Traveller
American and Qantas have joined in to lower their standards to match the new oneworld bare minimum. They will no longer check bags through on separate reservations. As I said when I wrote about oneworld’s change, this sucks. It is hurting the customer to help the airline avoid dealing with complexity.

Why Running a Good Airport Restaurant Is So DifficultEater
A discussion in the comments section a few days ago lamented the fact that there is no In-N-Out at LAX itself. I assumed that a compromise was needed to make that work and In-N-Out simply wouldn’t compromise. But this article (thanks to reader Hawk) points out some of the issues.

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13 Comments on "3 Links I Love: Air New Zealand Becomes Less Unique, American’s Bad Baggage Rules, Airport Restaurants"

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As someone who has been involved with the bidding of airport restaurant space, it’s a flawed system at best. The robbery prices, while annoying, never bothered me as I know how the system is regulation on top of regulation on top of regulation which all costs money. It’s refreshing to see that PDX and some others are forcing street pricing, but at the cost of zero or negative margins for the operator will only mean we have more HMS Host type operators – which is not good for variety or quality. I’m all for more locally owned and operated restaurants… Read more »
Bill Hough

Obviosly the “street pricing” trend has not hit SFO or FLL yet. Wonder if it ever will?


As of at least last year, SFO was doing street + 10%. I think FLL is as well. But what constitutes street could be interpreted differently. It really gets into the concession agreement.

David SF eastbay

The QF/AA story should have let readers know it’s not just QF/AA as BA is in on this also. And if all of OW does it, can the other alliances be fare behind if they aren’t already going it.

I added a segment to my existing BA flight with another pnr on BA before they changed their thru baggage checking rules on their own metal. I called to combine the two segments into one pnr and I was told they would have to cancel the flights and and reissue but I had the last two seats and there was no guarantee they would be put back into the system. Needless to say I was going to connect thru LHR and there was no way I would make an 1 1/2 hour connection if I had to p/u baggage recheck… Read more »
Having flown on both the Air NZ 777-300 and 777-200 recently, I 100% understand why they made the decision to discontinue the Spaceseat. While it has a certain wow factor when you first board and is ok while you’re awake and wanting to watch a movie or catch-up on work, it is a nightmare if you’re on an overnight flight (which almost all NZ longhaul flights are) and want to get some sleep. The limited recline and rigid pods make it close to impossible to do so comfortably. The new seat, on the other hand, is a great PE product… Read more »
Dan Hill

Scott, you’re right about trying to sleep in the damn thing, but I didn’t even like it to sit in. Felt like I was going to slide out of it all the time.

I don’t think I’ve seen another product with as big a gap between the expectations created by appearance, and actual performance.

I do love Air NZ though (hard for an Aussie to admit).


Having flown in the seat twice, I can attest that the wow actor is there but the comfort was lacking. ANZ crew told me in late 2014 that it was only a matter of time before the seats were gone.


I flew in the Spaceseat in 2011 and didn’t have any problems with it. I’m sure that whatever they come up with as a replacement will be fine. I hope to have the opportunity to fly with Air New Zealand again: They are a fine airline.

Heaven for bid an airline give an inch of extra space to passenger’s…..it’s all about how many seat’s can be crammed into a plane, the new seating on the 777 and 787(a brand new plane spoiled by the cramped condition’s) prove’s that it’s all about money and nothing to do with the actual comfort of the passenger….so Air New Zealand is going to stuff in more seating, where is the comfort in that….there is probably a pencil pusher in the home office trying to figure out how to put more seat’s on the plane….all airline’s seem to be the same… Read more »
While I agree that the separate PNR baggage issue was a nice value added, I don’t think it is fair to blame any of the oneworld carriers once and for all dealing with this. The reason this has become an issue is exactly because of travelers and travel agents abusing the system with the expectation that ‘potential savings of a few bucks’ or a travel agent maximizing commissions can be passed on to the operating airline to deal with the mess it creates. an alliance doesn’t mean a single system, rather that different systems adhering to an agreed level of… Read more »
John Lovegrove

Wow! I just flew in the space seat for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Now it’s going? Crazy.

I can kind of understand though. While it LOOKS amazing, it’s not great for couples. On the windows, you’re staggered a foot behind each other. In the middle, you’re angled away from each other. Ideal if you’re traveling aloe, but no way to actually sit right next to a spouse or partner. Having said that, I prefer the Space seat over the regular extra legroom.


All employees have a format firstname.lastname@airnz.co.nz, executives are on this website http://www.airnewzealand.com/executive
This is Air New Zealand CEO email address is christopher.luxon@airnz.co.nz
Chief Operating Officer bruce.parton@airnz.co.nz